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What you're proud of 2020

118

Someone I follow on Twitter posted this question: What is the project or accomplishment, quarantine-induced or not, that you achieved this year and are proud of?

The replies have been wonderful. It's been a terrible year yet there have been some good things. Feel free to share, let the happy flow!

 
Dec 23, 20 12:05 pm

I'll go first, of course. Here is what I tweeted:


Dec 23, 20 12:07 pm  · 
3  · 

Pic

15  · 
justavisual

Your dog is awesome. Good on you for downsizing and clearing debt!

2  · 
gibbost

I have two remote learners here--kindergarten & 5th grade.  I've connected with each of them and their teachers on a level never before contemplated.  It's given me new appreciation for their daily struggles and triumphs.  Also, public school teachers are the most amazing people around--showing poise, compassion, and commitment--in a world that has tried hard to break that spirit.

Dec 23, 20 12:37 pm  · 
12  · 
SneakyPete

Teachers are the best.

1  · 

Totally agree, Sneaky. My kid is a challenge and without strong patient teachers in his youth he never would have turned out as well - I'm not as good a mom as those people are teachers!

1  · 
Almosthip

I finished part 1 of the RAIC Syllabus, just waiting for final marks, which means I can join my provincial association next year and start logging hours as an intern.  Moving on up from technologist

Dec 23, 20 1:13 pm  · 
9  · 
SneakyPete

Eventually you'll just be 'hip'.

4  · 
atelier nobody

I have a project that the client wants to submit for awards. The last award-winning projects I worked on were many years ago, and I was but a lowly job captain - this will be the first project with my name as PA (still not principal designer, but at least the 2nd name on the list).

Most of the year has been taken up with the largest project I have ever worked on - 11 buildings on a site ranging from 25K - 50K SF each.

Personally, I am happy to have maintained some semblance of mental health and kept my weight gain under 50#, and to be doing something about both, through the quarantine.

Dec 23, 20 1:14 pm  · 
7  · 

We bought a new house and did a bit of exterior renovations to make it our own.

The client of a school I designed wants us to submit it for an award.  No word if the partners will do this but it's a nice complement.  

The same school has changed the opinions of the public regarding a future bond and mill levy for a new high school because "they never thought Grand Junction could have such a nice school like this"

Also I'm not yet dead so there is that . . .

Dec 23, 20 1:42 pm  · 
11  · 

"they never thought Grand Junction could have such a nice school like this" Chad this is awesome!

3  · 
SneakyPete

Those are the best sort of compliments. Awards are great, too.

1  · 

Thank you both.

 · 
geezertect

A grateful client!! You sure don't see that every day.

 · 
whistler

Personally got fitter than I have been in years, Professionally I didn't have to let any staff go, and currently busier than I have been in years. Still miss the ability to travel internationally though, it's the one thing I regret I didn't do more of when I was younger so trying to make up for it as I get older.

Dec 23, 20 1:44 pm  · 
8  · 
JonathanLivingston

I learned to cut my own hair. I started to swing trade stocks and made some money. I have exercised a lot, and ran my first marathon distance in a single run, lost ~ 25lbs. Fully engaged with personal therapy not just relationship counseling, mental health has been an extreme struggle. Held on to a job I started a month before this erupted. Kept my immediate family healthy. Organized my garage.  

Dec 23, 20 1:45 pm  · 
8  · 

All good things! Mental health has been a *real* struggle this year for so many of us.

2  · 
Non Sequitur

I'm still here, so there is that, but it should not be a big surprise since we've been coasting at reasonably sane levels in my region.  Some people panic, others complain.  I tell both groups to fuck off and go my own way. My patience for stupidity is at it's lowest ever.  

No real economic downside on my end but I'm sure maple syrup prices have risen considerably.  I did use the downturn in the market to make a bunch of adult decisions and now have a decent amount of financial flexibility for future home renos. Also cleared up a giant tax mess with my wife's account and got her set up with a small retirement strategy she can call her own, something she was getting worried about since she makes less than half of what I do and understands very little about finances.  

I did get a good record player recently and looking forward to the new hobby.  Also, lost all the weight I gained during the march-july shut down.  Could/should go lower, but then again, beer is too delicious.  Committed to 2 days per week in the climbing gym (3 if I feel sadistic) even though my body hates me most days.   None are really achievements tho, just trying to make the best from what I have. Oh, I did follow through on the painting thing I mentioned in an early discussion. The blank walls in the house will not remain blank for long.

School is another thing as we have a very slow and long road for our 4 year old to "catch up" to his peers but we've amended our work schedules (neither I or my wife work from home) as much as possible to maximize therapy sessions (out of pocket).  It's very frustrating and I/we often feel powerless but know that many others are in similar positions but unable to afford the time and expense, so we keep pushing. 

Dec 23, 20 2:37 pm  · 
5  · 
SneakyPete

They still let you in the gym? Man, Canuckistani policies...

1  · 
Non Sequitur

Gyms are open (unless shut by provincial order.... as they will do for all of Jan 2021). Capacity is 50 people and you book in advanced. Masks + liquid chalk mandatory.

1  · 
SneakyPete

Get yourself a finger board.

 · 
Non Sequitur

Looked into it during first shut-down, but they were either all sold out or x3 the cost.  I also don't have the space to install one unless it's in the shed... and it gets cold here.


1  · 
SneakyPete

Door frame pull up bar!

2  · 

Hang boards - a poor way to train for climbing by themselves and a great way to hurt yourself. ;)

1  · 
randomised

Just install those climbing grips all over the house!

 · 
Non Sequitur

right... because I need to stretch my hobbies to all rooms of the house instead of keeping them contained to my home office/studio space. BTW I use this for fingers and it helps (11lbs resistance per finger) when I get injuries:


1  · 
SneakyPete

Fellas, if you can't crimp you're not a real climber. Real climbers never step to anything under 5.11b. Real climbers buy chalk by the ton. Real climbers never top rope. Real climbers know how to use a Bosch with one hand while balancing on three toes. Real climbers have seven different pairs of climbing shoes, none of which can be put on with less than 20 lbs of pulling force. Real climbers piss in the gym shower. Real climbers scream at the crux.

2  · 
Non Sequitur

I often swear at the crux. Is that a bonus?

1  · 
SneakyPete

We're in DD on a cool project called baby.

Dec 23, 20 2:39 pm  · 
5  · 
Non Sequitur

are we.... are we back to doing phrasing now?

2  · 
SneakyPete

lol. I'm gonna be a parent.

8  · 
atelier nobody

Quickest SD phase ever! (Sorry, had to.)

MAZEL TOV!

5  · 
sameolddoctor

Wait, if you know already (and a big congrats!) - wouldn't it be considered CA stage?

2  · 
SneakyPete

Thanks! We're planning for an 18+ year CA phase. ;)

5  · 
sameolddoctor

Wouldn't that be post occupancy study? sorry this is getting silly AF

3  · 
SneakyPete

I like silly.

2  · 
Wood Guy

*SillyPete. Congratulations!

1  · 
randomised

Congrats on the project, I’ve heard the clients already submitted it for an award based on visuals alone!

 · 
natematt

congrats, good luck on CA!

 · 
SneakyPete

Thanks!

 · 
SneakyPete

Also forgot to mention we completed a really great project this year that I was PA on. Quite proud of it. Took it from SD to completion.

 · 
sameolddoctor

Im proud for not having killed myself or having done something really stupid. The trifecta of losing someone + stay-at-home + dwindling work takes its toll.

Dec 23, 20 2:52 pm  · 
10  · 
SneakyPete

I'm sorry you lost someone. Please don't kill yourself, you're cool.

2  · 
atelier nobody

Hard to give this one either a thumbs-up or thumbs-down. Sorry it's been so tough, glad you're hanging in.

 · 
sameolddoctor

Too many responsibilities and things to do to kill myself in reality. But all of this does take its toll...

 · 

As I said above, mental health has been a serious struggle for so many of us! When I downsized and paid off a lot of debt it lifted an enormous depression and stress from me. It also came after losing my mom in April, so I think I felt the need to take control of *something*. Hang in there sameold!

1  · 
sameolddoctor

This is a great point Donna

 · 
Wood Guy

I'm glad you're still here, sameolddoctor. I understand the struggle. This is an interesting take that showed up in my feed today: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/shouldstorm/202012/we-ve-got-depression-all-wrong-it-s-trying-save-us.

1  · 
bowling_ball

Wood Guy - that's interesting, thanks for sharing. And while I've never heard of this theory, it's exactly how I've always thought of depression - a part of life not unlike joy, sadness, etc - that is to say, a temporary response.

 · 
Wood Guy

BB, I believe that it's SUPPOSED to be a temporary response, but some people are not able to recover to "normal."

 · 
randomised

Congrats on not doing anything really stupid or killing yourself...here is some music https://youtu.be/lUPsKZfuXi8

 · 
newguy

"As I said above, mental health has been a serious struggle for so many
of us! When I downsized and paid off a lot of debt it lifted an enormous
depression and stress from me

Worth a listen: Mental Health & Covid: How US Media Spins Societal Failures Into Personal Self-Help Journeys

Mental health is often thrown out there as an internal issue that people have to deal with individually, but it's really something that should be analyzed collectively.  Having basic needs accounted for (food, shelter, healthcare) and a baseline safety net is a major factor that reduces stress/anxiety across the board.

Dec 23, 20 3:30 pm  · 
6  · 

Totally agree. Shelter and food are health care issues! And so much non-white-collar crime would disappear if everyone had food, clothing, and shelter. It seems like it should be so simple.

 · 
BulgarBlogger

I was able to make the most amount of money in my career this year.

Dec 23, 20 6:40 pm  · 
4  · 
bowling_ball

Ugh. I've written and rewritten my response a couple of times now. 


I made partner / owner this year. Super pumped about that. It cost the same as a mortgage, which is pretty stressful for somebody like me. I owe my wife an amazing holiday for putting up with me during the months-long process. 


We've saved a semi-respectable amount of money this year by not going out 5 nights a week, though the alcohol consumption has stayed the same. 


With all the down time, I've never watched more tv in my life, and I hate it. I've been embarrassingly lazy, with many projects to start and finish around the house, but I've not lifted a finger. I feel very very guilty about this, more than anything else.


Finally, I lost a friend to cancer (age 37) and a friend lost her baby during childbirth, just a couple days later. That sucked. 


I don't believe in dwelling on the past, so here's to a more balanced 2021. Cheers.

Dec 23, 20 11:24 pm  · 
5  · 
x-jla

I lost a close friend to cancer at 37 too a few years ago. It’s tough. Hope 2021 is better.

1  · 

Aw, bowling ball, don't beat yourself up over watching TV! We need rest, and often rest takes the form of disappearing mentally into someone else's stories. We have a million more things to do in our new house but they will get done when they get done - I'm not denying myself another episode of Queen's Gambit just because capitalism says we are "supposed to be productive" ALL the time!

 · 
bowling_ball

Thanks for the gentle reminder, Donna. To put it in perspective, we binged Queen's Gambit over a 36 hour period. Yikes.

1  · 
molten

On the topic on mental health, I finally got myself on a decent antidepressant about six weeks ago. This is after 10+ years of mental health struggles, with the last few months getting to a breaking point. I've maintained therapy over the years, but always dismissed any conversation about medication. It's not the right choice for everyone, but I'm very grateful that I finally realized I needed help. I've been feeling much better.

Dec 24, 20 9:59 am  · 
4  · 

I felt, in some ways, immediately better after starting Prozac because at the very least I was making an effort to try to get/feel better! I too was medication-resistant but it's been a life-changer for me. Glad you found a workable approach!

3  · 
randomised

Professional achievements include starting a brand new job, leading a project to very satisfactory results that will form the basis for future municipal developments and policies, all while social distancing and working remotely with people I haven’t even seen face to face except for my coworkers and the main client.


Personal achievements include managing to stay together with my girlfriend while taking care of two kids under 4 and daycares closed.


Major bummer is that my sister and her hubby apparently turned out to be some kind of anti-masker/anti-vaxxer nut jobs, should’ve known something was up when they started wearing five fingers footwear...don’t know how I missed that. Luckily they moved to the other part of the country...

Dec 24, 20 10:44 am  · 
2  · 
Non Sequitur

Those toe shoes do seem like gateway fashion.

1  · 
randomised

Definitely! Their purchase is one of the main criteria for the secret service to start tracing someone’s steps...

1  · 
randomised

*Professional achievements also include moderating a star-studded jury for an international design competition and getting my first articles published.

 · 

And simply because this thread is getting decent traffic I'll post here this lovely essay that I read this morning. It includes some of the best writing about architecture I've ever read, and talks about how we are both optimistic and never satisfied in the world:

He Was An Architect: Little Richard And Blackqueer Grief : NPR

Dec 24, 20 10:51 am  · 
3  · 
bowling_ball

I just took the time to read that, thanks for sharing


1  · 
Wood Guy

One thing I'm proud of is this: https://www.thebsandbeershow.c.... I started it a few years ago as a local discussion group, to build a network (aka make nerdy friends) and to share the things I've learned about building science. Also in no small part to practice speaking in public--I'm a lifelong stutterer and traditional speech therapy wasn't helping me.

In response to Covid I asked a couple of friends to help me take it to the Zoom platform. Then Fine Homebuilding and Green Building Advisor got involved to help run and promote it. It's still a fully volunteer effort but we are having a lot of fun talking with experts in building science each week. It has also helped spread awareness of the local building science discussion group concept and there are now about 15 BS + Beer groups across the US (many paused or poised to launch post-Covid) and one in Australia! 

GBA posts a summary and teaser each week here: https://www.thebsandbeershow.c.... You can watch past episodes here: https://www.youtube.com/channe....  (I didn't mean for this to become a promotion--to reiterate, nobody is making money from this, I'm just excited to share.)

Dec 24, 20 11:08 am  · 
5  · 

Love this so much. I still haven't tuned in to one but mean to!

2  · 
Non Sequitur

I have at least 4 of them listed on my cont-ed transcript.

2  · 
Wood Guy

Non, that's awesome. Donna (and Non)--I think you'd enjoy the chat box activity during the show--lots of smart snark and also solid information being shared there, largely a parallel conversation to the main event. (I know it's not at a great time for those with families.)

2  · 
bowling_ball

I've joined a couple of times, Wood Guy. PLEASE keep it up, it's great. Selfishly, like NS, I can also use it for Con Ed. Cheers!

2  · 
SneakyPete

Dude. Start monetizing. You'll be like the next Logan Paul, only useful to the world.

1  · 
Wood Guy

Thanks guys. It took a while to get our systems down, so it's only a few hours a week for me now instead of the ±10 hrs/week it was for most of the year. I can handle a few hours a week. Our mission is to "spread BS and have fun doing it." I have made many of my previous hobbies into paid gigs and may have finally learned that's a sure way to kill my interest. So for personal reasons I prefer to keep it free and fun.

On a related note, Taunton Press has commissioned a Pretty Good House book, and I roped a few others into helping me. We have no illusions that we'll make any real money from the project but we hope it will help others think about designing and building homes in the ways we think is important. It's due to be published in about a year.

3  · 
bowling_ball

I've always liked that approach of a Pretty Good House. Congrats. I'll be sure to buy a copy.

 · 
randomised

Collective thumbs up for all the inspiring positivity and to all that are struggling in these testing times. Just remember this too shall pass and won’t last forever...

Dec 24, 20 11:09 am  · 
4  · 
curtkram

there's this:   https://www.papercitymag.com/c...


Dec 24, 20 11:11 am  · 
1  · 
apscoradiales

I got away with destroying only one wheel and tire on the car, and just one cracked windscreen. So, that's good.

Montreal streets and roads are awful. Don't come here.

Dec 24, 20 11:18 am  · 
 · 
Non Sequitur

I understand this comment. Did you at least get the winter tires installed on time?

 · 
apscoradiales

Yes...and then it didn't snow for a whole month! Next year, I think I'll have to buy new ones...these have seen winter in Ontario, Europe, Quebec...

 · 
b3tadine[sutures]

Winter tires? Why?

 · 
Non Sequitur

Because we have real winters and all-season tires are garbage for most conditions we face. Also, it's a law in Quebec and they mandate installation by a the 1st week of november (or near that time). The only reason why it's not a law where I am (ontario) is because no-one in toronto swaps them as their winters are milder, and 75% of the province lives in that region.

2  · 
Almosthip

I am in the winter tire club, its law in BC which is only an hour away from me. They only plough my street 3 times a year. They wait 24hour after a snow event to even start ploughing. Good thing I pay the highest property tax rate in the country. Need AWD to get anywhere

 · 
JLC-1

I couldn't get to my office from December to April if I didn't have snow tires and awd. Steep roads and temps never rising above freezing.

 · 

I probably don't need to, but I still swap mine to winter tires around November out of habit. It used to be studded tires where I grew up, but I definitely don't need those anymore. If you've never had snow tires, you'd be surprised at how much better traction you get on snow covered roads. Benefit of 2020, is since I was late to getting around to taking them off, and I barely drove anywhere, I never got around to taking the snow tires off in March ... so I didn't have to put them back on a couple of weeks ago.

 · 
apscoradiales

Must be in Calgary. Summer? Two weeks of bad skiing!

1  · 
b3tadine[sutures]

I wonder if they do that here in Minneapolis?

 · 
atelier nobody

Studded tires are actually illegal in Minneapolis (or at least were when I lived there in the mid-90s). Switching to mud & snow tires for the winter is pretty common, though.

 · 
Wood Guy

Aps, my wife and I, and my brother and his girlfriend, went to Montreal for New Years' Eve in 2000. The sidewalks were so icy that the ladies couldn't walk at all. I say the ladies because I got food poisoning and spent the whole time in the hotel room bathroom. Anyway... here in Maine we get a lot of ice as well, and without studded tires you can't move (or stop), even with 4WD/AWD.

1  · 
apscoradiales

Studded tires are bad for asphalt. They're banned in Ontario and most places in Europe. if you do put studded tires on your car in Europe, you are limited to something like 50kph maximum speed. Studs tend to come out at speed, so pity the poor bastard who drives behind you. No such speed limit in Quebec, they drive as fast or as slow as everybody else.

 · 
apscoradiales

road salt for sidewalks? never heard of in quebec - you take your chance when you step out onto ice here. in ontario, if you don't clear the sidewalk of snow or salt the them in front of your house, and somebody sleeps and falls, your house insurance will not cover you. so, you could be sued for millions by the injured party.

 · 
justavisual

Proud that our first big residential project is flying through construction with zero issues, everyone is working together really well and its coming together great. Got our first referrals for other projects, so that was also nice and gives me confidence! The third miscarriage this year sure did put a damper on it all though, especially having to deal with doctors and hospitals in the time of COVID which just made it more stressful. Seriously questioning if its worth trying again, seeing the less than awesome time parents are having with schools and daycares closed. Mostly I just want to travel again, but who knows when/if/how that will be possible again. Torn.

Dec 24, 20 2:37 pm  · 
4  · 
SneakyPete

Congratulations on the residential project! Post some construction photos if the client will let ya.

 · 
bowling_ball

What do these words mean? "zero issues"? That's not a thing, is it? In any case, congrats and keep it up

1  · 
randomised

Sorry to hear about the miscarriages Tom, that’s fucking tough. Congrats on the boost of confidence work wise, that helps to take your mind of things.

 · 
justavisual

Well bowling_ball I guess for me zero issues means: no major fuck-ups, no contractors walking of the job, good communication, good quality of work, and no delays. Obviously there are small things here and there, but in the grand scheme of things...and compared to some other crazy shit I've seen happen, I'm calling this smooth sailing.

1  · 
tintt

I paid off 5 figures of debt and put 5 figures into savings, all with my newish firm that is only me. I got 4 new repeat clients and now have a nice little backlog that I forsee growing in the new year. I have been real estate frsutrated for a few years, wanting to move but not finding a place to move to. My husband (not an architect) drew plans for an addition to our house and it's something I never thought of but is brilliant and I want to do it. 2020 was in many ways my best year yet. Quarantine meant I had my head down and focused on bringing better outcomes across the board. Oh and I was in the hospital (emergency room) for a day and it was actually pleasant experience.

Dec 24, 20 3:50 pm  · 
11  · 
apscoradiales

Any time you're able to walk out of the hospital emergency room on your own power is a good day.

 · 
tintt

Yeah I tried to walk to the basement to get my MRI but they stopped me and put me in a bed. The worst part was that George Clooney wasn't at this ER!

 · 

Losing 100 lbs in 2020 and gaining a lot of confidence. The last 4 months have been good to me. 

Dec 24, 20 5:03 pm  · 
11  · 
atelier nobody

January 7th is my last meeting of the 10 week orientation for bariatric surgery, then on to my consultation with the surgeon. Unfortunately with the COVID situation here in CA, they don't know when they will actually start scheduling elective surgeries.

2  · 

Yeah, I had that too. My surgery was supposed to be in April but ended up being done late August.

1  · 
curtkram

ok, so, I'm thankful animaniacs was resurrected.  Other than that, 2020 can fuck right off.

Dec 24, 20 8:33 pm  · 
3  · 

Survived the pandemic without getting sick or laid off (so far -- knock on wood), and used the opportunity to reassess my priorities. Think I might start planning some big changes once we're back to some form of normal.

Dec 27, 20 10:24 pm  · 
2  · 
cozyknees

Going to college without getting Covid... While literally so many around me did.

Dec 28, 20 2:52 am  · 
1  · 
Susz

I'm proud of the work I did as a community catalyst designing the first educational bike park in my home-state, in addition to marketing and raising private partnership funds for it to happen in a community that needs it the most.  I advocated and pitched various design concepts to my city commissioners for improved bike infrastructure & recreation in my hometown which is listed top 10 in the state for most in need of biking infrastructure due to dangerous conditions.

I halved my student debt in about a year, saved over 5 figures, and traveled some before COVID. I gave my first presentation on architectural pedagogy just before COVID hit the US...and while it was not perfect it was great practice/exposure. I've definitely felt loss, frustration, and failure this year but I have worked towards the future I want and finally reaping the efforts.

Dec 28, 20 12:30 pm  · 
8  · 
archanonymous

Bicycles are amazing things.

1  · 
Susz

Agreeeeeeed!

1  · 
x-jla

Not becoming an alcoholic.  

Dec 28, 20 10:10 pm  · 
2  · 
Jaetten

Its been nice to read some positive comments, well done folks :)

My wife started her final year on her Publishing BA, got great marks for the first semester.

We cleared £5000 of our debt, almost clear now.

I gained 2" on my waist and then managed to lose 3" (also gained 2" on my neck as I've started lifting again).

Kitchen renovations almost finished (floor, lighting and door left)

I have to say, that 2020 allowed us to make some positive changes to our lifestyle, hopefully we continue these going forward.

Jan 12, 21 11:19 am  · 
2  · 
SneakyPete

clear of debt sounds AMAAAAAZING, congratulations in advance for when it happens.

2  · 
tduds

I survived. I kept my job. We paid off all our non-mortgage debt & refinanced our house, which put us at a good place for my wife to quit her job and start her own business. 

We managed our first Christmas season with both my & her family and nobody fought or cried. 

We also bought a truck intending to build out a minimal camper, but because of crazy lead times and crazier holidays that's now a 2021 project.

Jan 12, 21 11:51 am  · 
5  · 
SneakyPete

Do you have any rugrats?

 · 
tduds

Also a 2021 project ;)

1  · 
SneakyPete

Are congratulations in order?

 · 
tduds

Not yet, that's the "project"

1  · 
tduds

I'll take congratulations for the truck, though. It's a sweet truck.


4  · 
SneakyPete

I get it! It's like rhyming slang! Your new project is a big, awesome TRUCK.

1  · 
apscoradiales

"...I'll take congratulations for the truck, though. It's a sweet truck..."

Scotty would be happy!

Jan 12, 21 4:16 pm  · 
 · 

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